HIEROGLYPHICS, BLUE SCHOLARS, TANYA MORGAN This Oakland-bred hip-hop crew has been a West Coast standard-bearer, uniting the talents of childhood schoolmates Souls of Mischief, Casual, Pep Love and DJ Domino. Their tight battle rhymes and jazzy, heady loops have built a loyal following that they've nurtured on their own label, Hiero Imperium, for a decade. They're bringing a pair of hot young hip-hop acts, blitzing Seattle duo Blue Scholars and grimy, swaggering trio Tanya Morgan. Notably absent, however, is Del the Funkee Homosapien, their highest profile (ex?) member, who released his last album for Def Jux. $15. 7 p.m. Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. -- Chris Parker
JACUZZI BOYS, MAMMALS Florida trio Jacuzzi Boys combine '60s garage primitivism with a shambling psych shimmy, like Brian Jonestown's Anton Newcombe might have gotten them high. While they've only released a handful of 7s, they possess a droning allure similar to that of Black Rebel Motorcycle Gang. They're joined by gritty, reverb-soaked Atlanta garage trio Mammals, which sound like Little Steven offering the Seeds a hummer, echoing through one of Grand Central's cavernous johns. Just hearing it makes you feel dirty. $7. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. 404-870-0575. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- CP
DAYNA KURTZ Far more beloved across the pond than in her home, Kurtz's smoky, rugged alto waltzes brazenly through a mix of folk, country, blues and rock, with touches of jazzy, adult-contemporary sophistication. Her gruff vocals give gravitas to her dramatic swooning numbers, with slide guitar offered at times for a properly haunted air. The moody, dynamic sound recalls Shannon Wright, though not as dense, with a dash of Nina Simone's shadowy grace. She's supporting her fifth album, 2006's fine Another Black Feather. $12-$60. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- CP
SPIRITUALIZED, THE DIRTBOMBS Jason Piece's heady psychedelia is back in full cracked bloom on his band's new release. Perhaps it was the near-death experience that pushed him to new heights, but his psychotic rocker sound is re-energized with a tough, relatively stripped-down approach that befits the music's edgier, if still textured, attack. Echoes of the Velvet Underground still abound as Piece continues to explore his darker impulses, but Lou Reed never sounded this spacey yet focused. Glam-rock punkers the Dirtbombs open. $20-$22.50. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- Hal Horowitz
CASSAVETES, THE PREAKNESS Frontman Robert Horlick's wavering croon wafts creamily through Cassavetes' sauntering indie rock, like tourists in Vegas eager not to miss a moment of the dancing waters or pirate battles. The prickly chime of guitar bobs near the lulling organ-driven surface, suggesting a narcotized Walkmen with more shimmer and less bloozy bar-band shimmy. The Preakness' debut EP boasts a bubbly charm, fueled by sweet harmonies, jangly guitars and dreamy, somnambulant warmth, like R.E.M.'s Chronic Town with Bedhead. D'lish! $7. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- CP
TILLY & THE WALL, RUBY SUNS Headliners Tilly & the Wall made a name for themselves with the unique tap dance percussion of dancer Jamie Williams underscoring their exuberant indie pop. Big boy/girl harmonies, swooning organs and charging guitars key the sound, though their latest, O, attempts to add to their palette, with blustery, foot-stomping '60s garage rockers like "Pot Kettle Black." More impressive is the second album, Sea Lion, by New Zealand's Ruby Suns. It marries shambling world beat and bright psych-pop plumage, producing homespun Technicolor warmth with "Give the World a Coke" camaraderie. $17.50. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- CP
JW-JONES A triple threat as convincing crooner, stinging guitarist and an impressive songwriter, Canadian bluesman Jones is one of the young breed who respects the past but approaches his music with a contemporary outlook. His jazzy, big-band swing is informed by Texas and West Coast styles, but he attacks his songs with an energized, lowdown Chicago grit. Jones infuses swing and rockabilly, too, creating a well-rounded, somewhat unpredictable set that's always hot. $8-$10. 9 p.m. Darwin's. 770-578-6872. www.darwinsblues.com. -- Hal Horowitz
LUCINDA WILLIAMS, BUICK 6 She's become the voice of the contemporary woman, equal parts fragile and strong. Williams is a poet of stellar talent, a gravel-throated road warrior who can give as good as any guy on the circuit. It's often painfully obvious when she forces the material, but when she lets it flow you won't find anything better. Buick 6 opens. Sold out. $35. 8 p.m. Atlanta Botanical Garden. 404-876-5859. www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org. -- James Kelly
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS As the opening concert of the 2007-08 season, the ASO's semi-staged concert rendition of Giocomo Puccini's opera La Bohème was an unusually stunning performance. It was also recorded just afterward by Telarc, and released on CD at the beginning of this month. The ASO recreates that performance with the same cast in an outdoor setting, a demonstration of faith in the opera's mass appeal. The rhapsodic Robert Spano conducts. $21-$59. 8 p.m. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. 404-733-5010. www.vzwamp.com. -- Mark Gresham
RICHARD BICKNELL, LISE LIDELL, ALEX BRENNER It may be politically incorrect, but I have to say that Bicknell is my favorite gay country singer in Georgia. What's so great about him is that he has never exploited this to promote his music, and has always let his work stand on its own. Do yourself a favor and check out one of his great and emotionally powerful performances. Lidell is a fairly forgettable Texas singer/songwriter, and Brenner is best known as the frontman for Sodajerk. $15-$75. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- JK
CERBERUS PERCUSSION TRIO Atlanta percussionists Ellery Trafford, Caleb Herron and Isaac Anderson, who formed Cerberus Trio last year, are joined by percussionists Olivia Keiffer, Drew Dolan and Renuccio Dominicci for an evening of cutting-edge music. Among selections on the program are "Rain Tree" by Toru Takemitsu, where changing illumination of the three performers plays a significant role in the evocatively sparkling, drip-drop music, and "Chakra" by Kevin Volans, a virtuoso piece where speed of the drumming blurs rhythms into curving planes of sound. $7. 8 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. -- MG
RAHBI PRESENTS STRANGE FRUIT III FEAT. PURPLE ST. JAMES, SHANELL, TORI ALAMAZE, JAHI KEARSE, PHACE ORICALZ, TRE ACE, MADAM CJ One can never predict what kind of surprises Rahbi will unveil onstage. But if this performance is anything like his two prior Strange Fruit showcases, it'll climax with an orgiastic mix of glam soul covers (the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams"), original material ("Edge of My Life") and tantalizing performance art. V-103's Miss Sophia makes a guest appearance. Hosted by poets Ratsack, Goldie, Cola Rum and Georgia M.E. $10-$15. 9 p.m. Sugarhill. 404-658-0068. www.sugarhillatl.com.
-- Rodney Carmichael
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Two young, up-and-coming musicians of minority heritage are featured in this closing concert of the National Black Arts Festival. Atlanta cellist Khari Joyner, principal cellist of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, performs music from Haydn's "Cello Concerto." California violinist Danielle Belen Nesmith, winner of the 2008 Sphinx Competition (an award highlighting accomplishments of African-Americans and Hispanics in classical music), performs "Polonaise Brillante" by Henryk Wieniaswki and "Mother and Child" by William Grant Still. Robert Spano conducts. Free. 7 p.m. Ebenezer Baptist Church. 404-688-7300.
www.historicebenezer.org. -- MG
WILLIE NELSON, B.B. KING These two grizzled yet tireless road-warrior icons from disparate genres have more in common than you might expect. Both are living legends that have dabbled in a variety of styles -- blues ambassador King flirts with jazz and pop, outlaw cowboy Nelson is all over the map but leans more toward jazz, standards and blues -- to expand and diversify their own horizons. Both are obviously beloved headliners who appeal to a wide demographic, but the real sparks should fly when/if they share the stage, and hopefully a few songs, together. $38.50-$90.50. 7 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheater. 4469 Stella Drive. 404-233-2227.
www.livenation.com. -- HH
WOLF PARADE When not fiddling with intriguing side projects, Spencer Krug (Swan Lake, Sunset Rubdown) and Dan Boeckner (Handsome Furs) split the songwriting for prog-wavers Wolf Parade. They blend quirky, winding arrangements and percolating synth-driven melodies, whose oblique, drifty grandeur suggests Modest Mouse propositioning Supertramp in the Arcade Fire. Their second album, At Mount Zoomer, lets out some of the air and turns up the production, creating something equally idiosyncratic with thicker brushstrokes and darker colors. $18-$20. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354.
www.variety-playhouse.com. -- CP
MARK KNOPFLER From Dire Straits to his recent solo recordings, Knopfler has proven himself time and time again. A masterful guitarist as well as a highly respected singer and songwriter, he has shared stages with the best and stood his ground. Even his movie soundtracks are awesome. Seeing a Mark Knopfler concert is like going to your favorite restaurant -- you know exactly what you'll get, and you know it'll be great. $41.50-$81.50. 8 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheater. 4469 Stella Drive. 404-233-2227. www.livenation.com. -- JK
SHE & HIM It's unlikely this duo would be performing its amiable if somewhat slight girl-group-influenced folk-pop-lounge at a venue this large if one of the participants wasn't a photogenic movie star named Zooey Deschanel. That said, her low-key vocals are delightful in that shoop-shoop innocent way that's retro without being pretentious, and partner/guitarist M. Ward provides the indie cred. It's never less than pleasant and a charming side project, but not much more, either. Arrive early for alt-folkie mainstays Freakwater, who open. $18-$20. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. variety-playhouse.com. -- HH
Bands/performers/venues wishing to be included in Sound Menu's noted-acts boxes may send recordings, press material and schedules two weeks in advance to Creative Loafing c/o Rodney Carmichael, 384 Northyards Blvd., Suite 600, Atlanta, GA 30313, or e-mail information to: firstname.lastname@example.org. To be included in the listings only, e-mail venue and band schedules by Thursday at noon (for the issue that comes out the following Wednesday) to email@example.com.
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